The 4 P’s of Marketing – Product

We’re in the middle of a 4-part series about the 4P’s of marketing and how they relate to local and online companies. In case you missed the last two posts, the 4 P’s are a framework that have guided marketing decisions for the last 50 years in most successful marketing firms and companies.

However, they’re good for every manager in an organization to be familiar with and have a clear knowledge of, as they relate to all the areas of a business.

According to Joe Cannon (author of Essentials of Marketing), Product is defined as:

“Product is the need-satisfying offering of the firm.  This can include decisions about branding, ancillary services, warranty, packaging, features, and benefits.”

Now, this is pretty open-ended. Your product could be the blog you’re trying to get people to watch, or the sunglasses you’re trying to hawk.

However, it’s not just the product. It’s the quality of the product, the style of the product, the packaging of the product, the experience of using the product, the experience of buying the product, even the way your product is disposed of. While it may seem like the simplest part of the marketing equation (if not part of it at all), it actually drives everything about your product.

The easiest way I’ve found to identify or equate to the over-arching philosophy of “product” is find and figure out the differentiation of your product. Look at, feel, and think about your product. What adjectives come to mind when you do this? Cheap, quality, mediocre? Contemporary, traditional, stylish, ugly, beautiful? Thoughtful, aesthetic, metallic, plasticky, creative, boring the list goes on and on.

This should be pretty close to what a customer or prospect thinks of your product when they see it, touch it, or think about it. It’s what you need to consider while designing, releasing, or marketing your product.

If you dive even deeper, all of these items should be derived out of what your target market will want and need. If “product” doesn’t match what they expect or desire, you’re not going to sell many units.